Control of cell proliferation and cancer






Benjamin Beck



« Characterisation of Esophageal Cancers and Metaplasia »

Esophageal cancers are significant health problems that account for approximately 450,000 new cancer cases annually worldwide. Esophageal cancer occurs as either squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma. To reduce the mortality rate associated with these cancers, it is crucial to better understand the origin of esophageal cancers and the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of these diseases and translate that knowledge into novel approaches for their diagnosis, prognosis and/or treatment.

The research in our laboratory is focused on two main areas:
• Characterization of the processes involved in the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma
• Identification of a molecular core in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

To address these questions, we use a multidisciplinary approach based on:
• Transgenic mouse models
• Conditional knockout and overexpression systems
• Lineage tracing
• 2D and 3D cell culture from mouse and human esophageal cells
• Epigenetic and transcriptomic sequencing of FACS sorted cells
• Immunostaining, in situ hybridization and qPCR

Research in Benjamin Beck’s lab is funded by the FNRS, the WELBIO, the Worldwide cancer research, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), the Région Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Télévie

Group Web Page


Important publications

Cell-Type-Specific Chromatin States Differentially Prime Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tumor-Initiating Cells for Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition.

Cell stem cell 2016

P53 induces formation of
NEAT1 lncRNA-containing paraspeckles that modulate replication stress response and chemosensitivity.

Nature medicine, 2016

Epidermal TRPM8 channel isoform controls the balance between keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation in a cold-dependent manner.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015

Different Levels of Twist1 Regulate Skin Tumor Initiation, Stemness, and Progression.

Cell Stem Cell, 2015

TRPV6 calcium channel translocates to the plasma membrane
via Orai1-mediated mechanism and controls cancer cell survival.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2014 

SOX2 controls tumour initiation and cancer stem-cell functions in squamous-cell carcinoma.

Nature 2014

Unravelling cancer stem cell potential.

Nature reviews. Cancer, 2013

Skin squamous cell carcinoma propagating cells increase with tumour progression and invasiveness.

EMBO journal, 2012